I was at IJN (Institut Jantung Negara) last Thursday for a full and thorough body medical checkup. YES....u got it right.....a full body checkup.
It was initially planned for mom n dad to go for it as I feel it's good to know dad's heart condition, considering we have a family history of heart disease. And since dad agreed to it....I tot it'll be good to have mom's health checked as well.
Mom n dad had their appointments fixed 2 days before ours. We couldnt have all our appointments fixed at the same time for obvious reason - I need babysitters!
Ok...think I've gone a bit too far in talking abt the pre-appointment part.
So, we arrived at IJN at 7.30am (our appointments were scheduled at 7.45am). Had our particulars taken down, given a name tag and face towel (a stress test is included in this program where we were required to walk/run on a treadmill to have our heart rate checked)
Next we were assembled in a group of 4 and an escort was assigned to guide us through the whole procedure of the ESP.
Before he took us for our first round of test, we were brought to the cashier counter for payment. Yup......pay up before you start! Fair enough.
Then the real thing begins -
First, we were given a small container for our urine test.
Then, we were brought to the blood test lab to have our blood samples taken for various tests (blood sugar, cholesterol, uric acid, fat content, etc) Poor hubby, he was poked twice because the medical officer couldnt extract enough blood on his first attempt.
After that, we were taken to the Physiotheraphy Department for the lung function test. While at the waiting room, we saw a number of post-heart surgery patients waiting to have their routined physiotherapy done. I could see the raw stitches right up to their neck revealed while they were aided to their respective physiotherapists' room. It was not a pleasant sight at all as I could see the pain there were enduring while walking and talking at the same time. And most of them were male patients. We were later told by our consultant doctor that male patients make up to 70% of the total patients in IJN! Guys, take good care of ur heart! watch ur diet!
Back to our lung function test. We were required to blow into a tiny inhaler which is connected to the computer for the reading of our lungs' functions. It was no easy task as we were required to take in a deep breath and blow out as hard as we could so that our lungs functionalities will be read accurately. Well, we got choked a few times during the 3 attempts given but it was all pleasant to know that we've got strong lungs! A big reward to ourselves for being non-smokers!
We also got our BMI (Body Mass Index) analysed. I didnt like the result.....tho it's still within the stated limit......
The last and final round of the ESP was of course, the stress test. That took the longest wait because there is only ONE treadmill for the test for a total of about 10 people signed up for the ESP that day. We waited for more than an hour and finally it was my turn. I've got my body stuck with those stickers connected to numerous wires, as always seen on TV for EGC tests. The full test comprises of 5 stages where the speed for each stage increases after 3 minutes each. It was a breeze walk for me from stage 1 til 3 and I ran my heart out when it came to stage 4. It took me a total of 10 mins 26 secs on the treadmill when I finally gave up. Not an easy test at all! I was sweating all over and gasping for air when the technician reduced the speed after I surrendered to her! Hubby did better - went through stage 1 to 4 easily and just as he was prepared for a good run in stage 5, she stopped the machine saying it's more than enough to detect a good heart at stage 4! Hah!
A total of 5 rounds of various tests....we were finally brought to the waiting area to see our consultant doctor for our results. Waited for approximately 30 mins before we were called into the doctor's room.
My results - All looked good. Satisfying.
Hubby's - Not too bad except for some minor abnormalities which required some extra attention and awareness, especially food intake wise.
Bottomline : We were quite pleased with the overall results from the checkup and we thank God that everything went well and that we could have a peace of mind about our health- for now. Hopefully they maintain that way in years to come!